Oh how I love the South of France; the pain au chocolat, the blue stripes, the markets and the elegance of the people. And while in summer it is the place to avoid my favorite location is definitely Saint Tropez. I go either in May/ early June or late September/October. The weather is in the twenties (Celsius), traffic is doable and the French are relaxed and preparing and calming down for/after a hectic season. Last time I went it was the last weekend of October. We had amazing weather, even spend time in bikinis on the beach and all the comfort of a city not overwhelmed by tourist.
During that October trip we were a group of ten and rented out a villa in the middle of Saint Tropez in a small alley called Rue des Tisserands. We booked this villa – Maison de Jolie – via Airbnb and it got the whole French vibe to it. A great luxury to have a place for yourself in the middle of town.
Although being a smallish village Saint Tropez has all the big and luxury brands that France is famous for. The ones that I appreciate the most are Zadig & Voltaire, Manoush, Agnes B, Petit-Bateau, Paul & Joe, Comptoir des cotonniers, and Isabel Marant. But if these brands are not your thing and you want something more local, block your Tuesday or Saturday morning from 8am till 1pm for the market at Place des Lices. You will find locally made towels, bags, clothes, foods, vintage furniture and lavendel sachets.
While you need to scroll the harbour and sit down at one of the cafes to watch people passing by, it is in this small alley that I have a recommendation for you for a restaurant. Salama is a Moroccan restaurant with an open courtyard. The decoration of the place takes you in a different world. The food is wonderful and if you stay late, a DJ will join and you will get a party vibe. Do make a reservation as the local crowd knows to find this one also.
And then the beaches! Yes, Le Club 55 is still on the must do lists. The thing for now is to have ‘Les Crudites’ as your appetizer, consisting of sliced or whole raw vegetables which are then dipped in a vinaigrette or other dipping sauce. So on the raw food trend! Other recommended beach clubs in Ramatuelle on Pampelonne beach are Bora Bora, Moorea, Nikki Beach (dress in white), or Tahiti Beach. Try to get a map of the area as sometimes they are a bit harder to locate. And if the weather is not too good for sunbathing, all of these places are still great for a long French lunch with great food.